Written by Manjula Padmanabhan, performed by Tanariri, and directed by Pranav Patadiya, Lights Out is based on an eye-witness account that brings the issue of violence against women to the living room of an ordinary, middle-class family. The cast includes Abhishek Shukla, Neeraja Rajeev, Rashmi Ravishankar, Shakti, Shivam Vig, Shruti Havale, Shubhra, and Suranjay Patil.
What’s Lights Out about:
The play starts in the living room of a house, where a couple called Bhaskar and Leela are discussing the possible cause of the periodic screams and cries coming from one of the neighboring buildings of their colony. Leela is compelled to call the police to investigate the agonizing sounds, while Bhaskar reasons against her. Moments later, some friends join them for dinner and argue on the plausible cause to the screams and wails. Some of the guests are inclined to take action when they witness an act of sexual assault against a woman, right outside their apartment. Each person devises an ingenious plan to save the woman from her tormentors the play explores whether they succeed in their endeavors.
The cast effectively portrays the trauma a woman faces during an assault. The play aims at awareness and also attempts to evoke certain emotions within the audience. The scenes with the unending discussions but no apparent actions against the rapists create an atmosphere of frustration and anger within the hall, which is exactly what the playwright intends to do. By generating these negative emotions, the audience comes to realize the seriousness of the situation and the apathetic nature of society.
What could have been better:
The duration of the play is a tad longer than necessary but apart from that, the play is flawlessly put together.
Why you should watch:
“Actions speak louder than words” is the crux of this play. It encourages you to stand up against this horrifying crime. India is becoming more and more notorious with respect to women safety and a strong message needs to be delivered to educate the masses about violence against women, which is exactly what this play does and does so flawlessly. So join the movement and book your tickets to this heart-wrenching play the next time it stages near you.